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Making the decision to go self-hosted
I started my blog as a hobby, something to focus on while I was on maternity leave. I set up a wordpress.com site and thought I was happy with it. But as I got more into blogging and wanted to do more, I soon began to realise how limiting having a ‘free’ blog was.
I started doing some research into how I could go self-hosted, buying a domain name and the benefits of doing so. I found a lot of really great stuff, and I was edging closer and closer to making a decision.
But every time, I stopped myself from taking the plunge. I was scared because I know nothing about coding or plugins etc. I didn’t have the money to sink into buying a years worth of hosting through the company’s that were consistently coming up in my research. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to go self-hosted and get more out of my little internet space!
Then I found Lyrical Host. They are a relatively new hosting company, and I stumbled across them totally by chance but I am SO glad that I did! Firstly, the customer service is INCREDIBLE! I had a lot of questions that I wanted answering before committing to anything, and they were more than happy to help. There was no pressure whatsoever, no pushy sales speak, just honest and helpful answers. It was really informal and friendly and I instantly felt at ease and knew this was a company I wanted to have behind me and my blog!
So I took the plunge, and looked at their prices. One of my favourite things about Lyrical Host is that you can pay monthly or yearly – so if you don’t have £100+ to put into your blog in one go, then you don’t have to lose out. You can choose the pay monthly option. The other amazing thing for me, was that the costs are really upfront. There’s no hidden costs i.e. going up after the first year etc. There are several different packages and price ranges depending on your needs, and what is included is made very clear so you’re not left paying extra for things you don’t need!
Another fab thing for me was that Lyrical Host has a separate hub for WordPress blogs. This means that people there know how the WordPress dashboard works. And they offer to do the migration from your WordPress.com site for FREE!! Again, no hidden cost there. They moved it over at a date/time that was suitable for me, and it went so smoothly.
I hit a few hiccups whilst trying to give my blog a makeover after my migration and Lyrical Host was there to help straight away. They explained to me how I could fix things myself if I wanted, helped me to understand how to use plugins for my site, and did things for me where necessary. They made it so easy! I’m going to do another more in-depth post all about Lyrical Host soon, so if you’re interested keep an eye out! And if you decide to go with them, you can use code GEORGIAANDSTANLEY10 or click here and you can save 10% off your first payment. (This is an affiliate link, and I can make commission off anything your purchase at no extra cost to you).
I’m so pleased with my blog now, and it’s really motivated me to be more serious about my blog. I’ve written loads more posts, my views are shooting up which is great and I’ve had great feedback since going self-hosted.
Pros and cons of going self hosted…
I’m still relatively new to being self-hosted (I’m only one month in), but I thought I’d share some of the pros and cons of going self-hosted.
You can do SO much more to your blog when you’re self-hosted. You can change more about the appearance and you can add plugins to make your life and your visitors experience easier.
2. Security of your site
When you have a wordpress.com site for example, you’re blog is owned by them not you! So if WordPress goes out of business, it’s pretty much goodbye to your blog. You don’t have this worry when you’re self-hosted. Your blog belongs to YOU. You have control over the followers, the email list etc.
3. Personal domain
You can buy a domain without going self-hosted but for me, the two went hand in hand. If I was going to buy a custom domain I wanted to know that my blog looked and performed better alongside a custom domain. So I owned the site name and the actual blog too!
As I mentioned, I’ve been SO much more motivated with my blog since going self-hosted. I just seem to have a new lease of blogging life. I’ve put more effort into writing more often, sharing my posts on Twitter – which FYI has really been helping me to build my views! The community on Twitter, is fab! So, if you’ve hit a bit of a slump in your blogging and have been considering going self-hosted – DO IT!! I really think it will be the kick up the bum you need!!
This could be seen as a downside as a wordpress.com site has no cost whatsoever. But when you go self-hosted you have a yearly/monthly cost involved. While this is a downside, it’s so worth it. And while I was researching I read something that said if you want to build your blog you need to see it as a business. And you can’t start any business without putting some money into it. That resonated with me, and really helped me realise that it wasn’t a worthless cost!
7. More work
This is true, but the extra work involved is because you can do so much more with your site – which to me is a definite positive! Blogging is hard work, more than people sometimes realise. Especially when I first went self-hosted. I spent the first week just constantly talking code and plugins and trying to sort each aspect. It’s hard work, but it’s amazing and I’ve really enjoyed learning new things as part of this journey.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about my experience going self-hosted and if you have any questions I’m more than happy to try and answer them!